Take the Lead!

Take the Lead! is a program started in early 2020 to further enrich the experience of being in Berkshire Children’s Chorus by organizing opportunities for Choristers to meet and learn from inspiring women leaders.

Now that the 2020-2021 season has been suspended due to the pandemic, the Chorus aspires to achieve a closer synergy between our usual choral music curriculum and the Take the Lead! program. Our programming this season will offer students insight into career paths, leadership, and unexpected applications for their choral training.

The events that have been scheduled so far are the following.


“Play” : improv and theater games with Madeleine Maggio – January 13th, 2021

Shake off the Covid-blues and get silly on Zoom with BCC alumna, actor, and teacher Madeleine Maggio. Open and free of charge for all middle and high school students in the Tri-State Berkshire Region. Learn improv and theater games that expand creativity and build teamwork, and can even be played online! Registration is required.

Guest Bio: Madeleine Maggio is a 2008 graduate of Mount Everett High School and Berkshire Children’s Chorus. She holds a B.A. in Theater from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and completed a two-year professional course at the Jacques Lecoq International School of Theater in Paris. She is currently working as an Education Artist at Shakespeare & Company.

Some of Madeleine’s recent roles have been: Marianne Dashwood: Sense & Sensibility; Robert Shallow/Bardolph: Merry Wives; Elizabeth Bennet: Pride & Prejudice; Longaville/Jaquenetta, Love’s Labor’s Lost; Elizabeth Darcy, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly; Helena/Cobweb, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; S&Co Regional Tour: Lady Capulet/ Benvolio, Romeo & Juliet; The Humanist Project: Lavinia, Titus Andronicus.


Stand Up & Be Heard with Rory Hammond – October 28th 2020

Rory Hammond, graduate of Circle in the Square Theater School, founding member of Animus Theater Company, and Berkshire Children’s Chorus alumna, is an Education Artist at Shakespeare & Company pursuing her certification in the Linklater Voice technique. Participants in Rory’s “Stand Up & Be Heard” workshop learned vocal warm ups and articulation exercises from the Linklater Voice technique, and discussed how the techniques helped them improve their delivery of excerpts from famous speeches.

Stand Up and Be Heard workshop participants

A Conversation with Dani Dillon – September 23rd 2020

Dani Dillon graduated from Mt. Everett in 2008 and studied Art History and Studio Art at Barnard College, Columbia University. The career she has built in the NYC food world has led her through the kitchens of start-up bakeries, Michelin-star restaurants, and the international women’s club The Wing. She specializes in building inclusive teams and developing food and beverage programs that showcase the talents of local chefs and of community-based food cultures. Her work has been covered in Vogue, Eater, and Food & Wine, among other publications.